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Touring European Christmas Markets is a sure way to get into the Christmas spirit! Check out my list of 5 Things You Must Do at European Christmas Markets.
I recently traveled to Europe with a few of my favorite food and travel bloggers to take in some of Europe’s best Christmas Markets. Over 12 days we collectively visited 7 countries! We visited Christmas markets in Reims, France; Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia; Basel, Switzerland; Heidelberg, Germany; and Prague, Czech Republic.
Here’s a little video of my 5 Things You Must Do at European Christmas Markets!
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5 Things You Must Do at European Christmas Markets
Sample Local Foods
The food is one of the main draws at European Christmas Markets. Each market will have their own local specialties and I highly recommend you try a couple different versions of each specialty. Talk to the food vendors to learn more about the local specialty. Or if there’s a language barrier, just observe the food being made. Almost all of the market foods are made right in front of you.
To find out more about some of my favorite market foods check out my post on 10 Best Christmas Market Eats.
Go Ice Skating
Ice skating is one of those classic wintertime activities that people of all ages enjoy. Now imagine twinkling Christmas lights and the smell of candied nuts wafting through the air with Christmas music playing all around and you’ve got the perfect setting for gliding into the holiday season!
I would say half of the Christmas markets we went to had ice skating, so keep an eye out for them!
Listen to Live Christmas Music
(Above is a video of Christmas music being performed at Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace.)
Almost every European Christmas Market will have its own website with grand opening dates and times, and an entertainment schedule. When you’re making plans to visit European Christmas Markets I suggest you look at each market’s website and see when they have live Christmas music playing. Nothing gets you in the Christmas spirit more than listening to traditional Christmas carols being sung with Christmas Markets as the beautiful backdrop.
Go on the Rides
Most of the larger Christmas markets have rides for the young and old alike. Some even have petting zoos, too. What better way to warm up than getting some adrenaline going! If you’re not into adrenalin-pumping rides, then I suggest riding the Ferris wheel at night. You will have a gorgeous view of the market and all of the pretty lights, too.
Shop for Everyone on your Christmas List
My favorite Christmas Markets were the ones that had mostly hand-made goods for sale like the Christmas Fair and Winter Festival at Budapest’s Vörösmarty Square. At this Fair, every single booth only had handmade, local goods for sale. I bought lots of handmade Christmas ornaments, toys for my kids, pottery, and tables linens for everyone else on my Christmas list. Christmas markets are definitely the place to find a special and thoughtful gift for anyone on your Christmas list!